Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Al Jefferson led a balanced Utah attack with 23 points, and the Jazz used a late fourth quarter surge for a 107-104 win at ARCO Arena.
Deron Williams added 21 points, nine assists and six boards while Paul Millsap scored 18 before fouling out late in the game for Utah, which has won two of three. Raja Bell added 17 points while Kyrylo Fesenko and Andrei Kirilenko added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Jazz.
Rookie DeMarcus Cousins paced the Kings with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Tyreke Evans added 21 points and Jason Thompson scored 14 for the Kings, who have dropped three straight.
Utah trailed by seven, 87-80, at the end of three, and used a 11-4 run to open the fourth. Fesenko started the spurt with a hook shot in the opening minute, and Earl Watson’s driving layup knotted the game at 91 just over the eight- minute mark.
After tying the game two more times down the stretch, Millsap made a pair from the stripe with 2:48 remaining to give Utah its first lead of the quarter, 101-99. Cousins responded with a layup on the Kings next possession to tie the game at 101-101, and a Kirilenko jumper and Jefferson slam gave the Jazz a four-point cushion.
A Cousins three-point play put the game at 105-104, but Kirilenko made good on 2-of-4 from the line down the stretch as the Kings missed their final three shots down, including Omri Casspi’s three-point attempt at the buzzer, to end their chances of a comeback.
Jefferson paced the Jazz with 12 points in the first quarter as the team’s were tied at 30-30 after a back-and-forth opening 12 minutes. Sacramento took a 56-55 lead into the half, and Evans and Cousins went for 13 and 11, respectively, in the third quarter to give Sacramento a 87-80 lead entering the fourth.
The Jazz have won seven of their past nine meetings with the Kings, including a 94-83 win in Salt Lake City back on November 22…The Kings are now 1-3 on a five-game homestand that will feature visits from Dallas and Oklahoma City.